Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Space Pods

Recently, my little home town of Beerwah underwent a facelift organised by Council.  Underground power was installed in the main street, new footpaths, gardens with exotic native plantings, a complete revamp all round really.  Including "Street Art" -  because in todays world Councils believe no works are complete without spending dollars (and lots of them) on Artwork.   Here is a look at ours.............

Yes - that was my first thought too!!!!  Something from outer space.  And what pray tell does that have to do with the sleepy country town of Beerwah?????

The sculpture/art constists of one large "Mother Ship", for want of a better word, and several smaller "Space Pods" dotted along the footpath.  Little, knee high, ones these are - just waiting for the unsuspecting person to stub their toe and go arse over the top.

The sculptures are created from patinaed steel, bronze and copper.  They have an integrated, sensor driven lighting system that turns on when movement is detected and turns off when the street is quiet.  Supposedly, artist Russell Anderson used a fictitious story to help inspire his design.  The story goes something like this........

At one time Beerwah was home to hundreds of pineapple farms.  The competition was fierce with growers constantly looking for ways to create bigger, sweeter less spiky fruit than their neighbours.  Another important edge was to be “first-to-market” thereby attracting the best price early in the season.

In this regard, the years between 1931 and 1951 were dominated by one farmer – ‘Speedy’ Joseph King.  He worked solo on his patch and never hired pickers.  One day the field would be full of pineapples, and the next it would be empty.  No-one ever saw the pineapples leave his farm but they were always there at the market, ahead of everyone else.

Many gossiped about his seemingly mystical gift but it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when his property was auctioned by Public Trustee that Joe’s secret came to light……..

The equipment sheds on Joe’s farm were overflowing with mechanical equipment and bizarre machinery as had never been seen before.  Information from his journals makes us believe that the most advanced of these pieces of equipment appeared to be a “Matter Transporter” complete with isolation pods – designed to allow the safe transportation of his fruit quickly to market. 

Definitely a talking point amongst the locals.   Is the story true?    Are they necessary?    How much did they actually cost? 

But foremost on everyones where you are walking or the little ones give you a very close encounter of the footpath kind.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Growing in December

The first day of Summer calls for a wander in the garden don't you think.........  

Wandering amongst the plants always makes me remember reading a lovely nostalgic saying from Audrey Hepburn -

"To plant a garden

is to believe in tomorrow"

I have lived here now for just over 6 years and no truer words could be spoken when I look around at the abundant gardens we have established.

Each year during Winter I cut back the "Vibernums" at my back door to let in more light.   Here they are shooting again so they can provide shade to my kitchen window from the western sun as Summer arrives.  Another couple of weeks and they will be as tall as the guttering.

Some of the new pineapples forming.    I planted 12 pineapple tops a couple of years ago and now have a crop that continues producing for me without any cost ....... Pick a pineapple - plant the top back in the soil for the next year.  

Down in the orchard, the Tamarillo (tree tomatoes) are just ripening.  Tamarillos add such a sweet, fruity zing to a fresh salad and can make the most divine drink for a hot day.

Tamarillo Coolers
  • 4 tamarillos
  • 2 teaspoons stevia powder
  • sparkling mineral water or soda water
Halve tamarillos and scoop out as much flesh as possible. Puree in a blender or food processor or pass through a sieve. Mix with sugar to taste. Fill three or 4 glasses with ice, pour over some puree and top up with chilled soda or mineral water.

And this year is dawning to be the best ever year for our grapes.  Only 1 grape vine but it stretches for nearly 15 metres along the support fence at the rear of the orchard.  It is literally covered with fruit.  I am on the hunt now for the best way to preserve most of it.  I have never made grape juice/wine but I am sure my friends over at the Down to Earth forum will steer me in the right direction.